World leaders seek end to Russian aggression, violence in Ukraine
…but they’re not optimistic
Since February 2014, the Russian military has been taking steps to secure portions of eastern Ukraine; forces successfully annexed the Crimea, and Russian separatists in Ukraine have continued their attacks. Nations including the United States have advocated for providing Ukrainians with the means to defend themselves—that means tanks, weapons, and training—but Russian officials claim that such a move would constitute a threat to national security.
The situation is quickly devolving, but world leaders are still holding out a sliver of hope that a compromise can be reached. At the Munich Security Conference this past weekend, Vice President Joe Biden met with European leaders to address continuing Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Biden met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko earlier Saturday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.
“We must judge … any future agreement with Russia by the actions Russia takes on the ground, not by the paper they sign,” Biden said. “Given Russia’s recent history, we need to judge it by its deeds, not its words. Don’t tell us, show us, President Putin. Too many times President Putin has promised peace and delivered tanks, troops, and weapons.”
While he’s echoing much of what White House press secretary Josh Earnest has been saying during recent daily press briefings, neither Biden nor President Barack Obama has weighed in directly this week since tensions escalated.
He would not discuss the possibility of U.S. ground troops in the region, but re-asserted the Ukrainian people’s right to defend themselves.
“We will continue providing Ukraine with security assistance, not to encourage war, but to allow Ukraine to defend itself,” he said. “Let me be clear: We do not believe that there is a military solution in Ukraine. Let me be equally clear: We do not believe Russia has the right to do what they’re doing.”
Merkel and other Euro leaders can summit to their heart’s content, but it won’t change the fact that any peace deal worth discussing will have to cut through the he said-she said game Russia is playing as a way of deflecting criticism away from the separatists.
Officially, Russia continues to deny sending its soldiers into Ukrainian territory, although evidence from Western satellites and eyewitnesses suggests otherwise. In a particularly dramatic display that he said disproves Russia’s claims, Poroshenko held aloft several red passports that he said came from Russian soldiers fighting on Ukrainian soil. He plaintively asked how much “evidence does the world still need to recognize the obvious fact, there is foreign military equipment, Russian military coaches and regular troops” operating in Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in turn accused the West of supporting a government in Kiev that he said came to power via a “coup d’etat” as well as anti-Russian and xenophobic paramilitaries.
“Through every step, as the crisis has developed, our American colleagues and the [European Union] under their influence have tried to escalate the situation,” Lavrov said. But few in the audience bought his claims that Russia is not fostering violence in eastern Ukraine. They peppered him with skeptical questions, and Lavrov at one point looked wearily at his wristwatch.
Unrest in the eastern European states doesn’t stop in Ukraine. Recently Cyprus agreed to host Russian naval and aviation bases as part of an old defense agreement; in addition, Cyprus and Greece have both expressed objections to further sanctions against Russia, arguing that sanctions would deepen the rift between Russia and the European Union.
Foreign policy analysts remain unsure about Putin’s end goals, but leaders of some European nations are making an effort to put the rest of the world on alert:
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto summed up the consensus by saying: “I’m not really sure if anybody’s fully aware of what he’s after.” He said the Kremlin’s goal in Ukraine is “to keep Ukraine unstable and waiting maybe a possibility if something opens to do something new.”
A worst-case scenario was sketched by President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, one of the three Baltic Sea states that broke free of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. Failure to stand up to Russia now would whet Putin’s territorial appetite, she said: “After Ukraine, we will be next.”
If this round of talks fails, the United States and Europe will likely attempt to agree upon another round of sanctions, and arms transfers.
Featured Image via BBC News
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The US is the clear aggressor in the Ukraine. The US engineered the coup d’etat that removed the only democratically elected President Ukraine has ever had, namely Yanukovych. The US goons also tried to kill him. And the US has consistently pushed its junta to reject negotiations and escalate the fightling.
What you’re seeing right now is a growing separation of the US from the EU and the rest of NATO. France and Germany clearly understand that US aggression in Ukraine will lead to a general European war, which they wish to avoid.
By the way, as a Jew you should be aware that the junta includes in its coalition two full-blown Nazi parties of the 1930’s/1940’s ilk–Svoboda and Right Sektor. These parties are calling for the ethnic cleansing of both Russians and Jews from Ukrainian territory. Our anti-semitic President Obama if fully on board with that.
In case you think the US is the protector of peace in the world, consider the following:Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Grenada, Iran (1953), Iraq (3x), Afghanistan (2x), Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yugoslavia/Serbia/Kosovo, Ukraine. Since the fall of the USSR, the US has been on a rampage, which is ongoing. The US has reduced large parts of Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe to chaos and war. It has directly or indirectly casused the deaths of 100’s of thousands of people and plunged 10’s of millions into poverty and near starvation. The US is the true evil empire.
And you are a truly evil boob.
you retarded pile of sh1t
How about Ukraine conducted it’s own coup d’état? They are a perfectly capable failed state. Groups like Pravy Sektor were training for decades.
As for the Nazi angle, yes, it’s there. It’s not just Pravy Sektor and Svoboda, revisionist history and praise for Stepan Bandera are perfectly mainstream. Parubiy, formerly of Svoboda, is now in Yatsenyuk’s party. Yatsenyuk was hand-picked by State Department.
I hear we’re offering aid in the form of blankets and counselors to help Putin’s victims through the winter and the loss of their nation.
Could Pres. ScamWOW get any more a cliche of Collectivism?
Do you want to give Ukrainian military weapons to sell to Russia?
Russian propaganda I read is getting out a lot. And that may be true. There was even someone on the John Bachelor program the other day, who was trying to say Ukraine was the aggressor.
@bob sykes And I suppose you believe that the United States had the right policy in Honduras in 2009. And you maybe would want Morsi back in Egypt.
And I think it is fair to say that none of what is in your last three paragraphs is true, or even close. France and Germany are on the same side as the Ukrainian government – they don’t consider the problem to be U.S. agggression, and they may even want the U.S. to do more, and if they are worried about a bigger war, it is what Russia might do that worries them. The U.S. has maybe supported negotiations too much; Jews in general lean toward the new government and nobody wants to be included in Russia; all the anti-semitism is covertly sponsored by Russia and doesn’t convince anybody; and President Obama is not anti-semitic, even if he has a policy on Iran going nowhere.
The last paragraph is such an absurd lie, I don’t think I know the argument for all or most of these assertions.
What happened had the overwhelming support of people in the Ukraine, and what their president did, in pulling out of his agreement with the European Union was completely against what the public wanted, and was only done under Russian pressure – not even he really wanted to do that – and his removal and replacement has since been ratified by some free elections, and not even Russia is calling for him to be re-instated.
Even if it were so that there had been some kind of anti-democratic coup, that would not give Russia the right to seize the Crimea, in vioation of several post-1991 agreements, and even less so create a right for Vladimir Putin to lie and mislead and start a war.
Now maybe you can compare this to the Hungarian revolution in 1956, and say supporting a truly independent Ukraine was too dangerous etc, but don’t say that Ukraine is in the wrong here.
I’m amazed by how much Batchelor knows about Ukraine. I suspect he speaks Batchelor, Sarkozy, Kissinger, Hitchens, Zeman, Spengler are pretty much on the same page here. Even National Review is now saying that US has no national interest in Ukraine. That Hollande’s and Merkel’s real sentiments are very different from what’s reported above is a given.
We got ourselves in a citation where we can’t win and that will result in more dead Ukrainians before Ukraine will surrender and resolve to hating the US.
World leaders backed the creation of the crisis through the active and quiet support for a violent coup a la Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc.
There is probably something that the U.S. or others may do that Putin is afraid of, but we may not know what it is.
He’s calibrating things so as not to trigger whatever it is he is afraid of.
Nothing else will stop him but the possibility that X will happen.
With Bush we had a cordial, even productive relationship with Russia. With Obama our relationship with traditional allies, friends, and partners is deteriorating. He has demonstrated a preference and affinity for left-wing regimes in the manner of Iran’s theocracy over the secular Shah, Muslim Brotherhood over Egypt’s secular regime, of terrorists over Libya’s nationalist dictator, etc.
In 2010 60% of Russians had a positive view of United States. Right now it’s something like 80% negative. See this thread: https://twitter.com/shaunwalker7/status/564715195046850560
I have no illusions about Russia; it’s an autocracy, and it’s moving in the direction of curtailing freedom (and so does Ukraine). Russia is not a friend, but it should be our adversary, not enemy. Right now we are enemies.
Oh, incidentally, whoever down clicked me, is it because they disagree with the spirit of my responses, which is fine – politics are about emotions, after all or is it because they know otherwise in which case I’d like to hear from them.